Microsoft’s Your Phone app has come a long way since we last looked at it. A major update now lets you stream apps directly to your PC from your Android device. Microsoft added screen mirroring a while back, but this feature offers a lot more potential.
Within Your Phone on your PC, a new Apps section lists the apps installed on your Android device. If you don’t see it, you may need to update your apps via the Microsoft Store. Microsoft is rolling the update out gradually, so it’s not available to all users just yet. We were able to update immediately.
Launching an Android App on Windows 10
In the app list, clicking an icon launches that app just like on your device. However, Windows actually launches the app in its own window outside the Your Phone app. This allows you to multitask with other Windows 10 apps. Alt+Tab is fully supported, and you can even pin an app to the taskbar or Start menu. They’ll launch just like a native Windows app. Plus, you can use your keyboard and mouse.
Running an Android app on Windows 10 | Video: Samsung
Android App Streaming Limitations
Microsoft provided a list of compatible devices (spoiler: they’re all Samsung devices). More will be added down the road. Your phone must be running at least Android 9.0.
Unfortunately, you can only run one app at a time for now. Reportedly, Microsoft is working to allow you to launch more than one at a time. Later this year, this feature should arrive on the Samsung Galaxy Note 20.
Not every app will work with the new Windows feature. Some apps block the ability to cast to other screens. You’ll just see a black screen on your PC instead. Additionally, some apps won’t respond to mouse and keyboard input. Also, others will only play audio from your phone.
Despite its shortcomings, things will only get better from here. It’s a brilliant addition to both Windows 10 and Android.
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